New Leaf New York: From Pharma to Farm


Put down that hamburger
December 8, 2008, 2:06 am
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The meat industry has some ‘splainin’ to do.  This week and next, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, including environmental ministers from 187 countries, meets in Poznan, Poland, to discuss the meat (har!) of a new treaty to help ameliorate global warming.

Though the panel has plenty of ideas on fuel, factories, and the other usual suspects, the arena of agriculture still falls behind when it comes to solutions on how to effectively curb emissions.  Some proposals include methane capture — collecting pig manure, heating it, then using the methane captured from the process to add electricity to the local power grid — or engineering feed that produces less methane in the first place.

But many believe that meat production and consumption on the scale we see today is simply not sustainable, no matter how much we reverse-engineer what goes into or comes out of our livestock.  With the higher global demand for meat, especially from developing countries such as China and India, we’re losing rainforest and other land, and expending more fuel to transport and refrigerate it; some say that our best hope is simply to reduce meat consumption altogether. Continue reading



Wish granted
August 7, 2008, 11:25 am
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Well then!  I must explain what became of my quandary.  It was nerve-wracking for about a day, but I slept on it — and on Friday afternoon I called the executive director of the organization that wanted me really badly, wrangled my salary up a bit, and officially accepted their offer!

I cannot fully explain in conventional written language exactly how awesomely excited and totally psyched I am about this development.  I start on Monday and it cannot come soon enough.  I actually thought I was going to be starting early this week, so I was a little disappointed when I heard it wouldn’t be until next week…but I suppose it’s given me a little more time to enjoy my summer vacation, doing fun things like waiting for two hours at the DMV (“License X-Press,” it’s called — wishful thinking, I say) to finally exchange my Ohio license for a New York one, going to the post office and buying laundry detergent.

I wish I could be more specific, because I’ve never been so proud and excited about a job, but again, I have to keep schtum on a lot of the details.  Here’s the interesting part, in terms of the life of this blog: it was supposed to “chronicle my quest” to find a job in sustainable agriculture and local food.  Well, I found it.  I thought I would be taking a sort of “baby step” job doing PR for an environmentally conscious client or firm, for instance, to gain experience in the field.  But I didn’t even have to do that!  What I wanted was right there for me, and I grabbed it.  I’m almost pinching myself because I didn’t think it would happen so quickly and so easily — but it did. Continue reading